Benefits of Early Intervention

May 24, 2012
by Debbie Denmon

It took a while for 5-year-old Tristan to do something as simple as say “hello,” but with the help of music therapy, he learned to say “hello” and “goodbye.”

“He could produce sounds that you were making,” said Kristy Hill, Tristan’s mother. “He could copy you and say ‘mom,’ but he didn’t know what that meant. He couldn’t tell me that he was thirsty or hungry.”

With early intervention Tristan was diagnosed with autism. The speech therapist then determined Tristan was nonverbal and they went to work. Specialist Stacey Callaway says early intervention is the key for children with Autism and suggests that as soon as you see symptoms of Autism, that’s the best time to jump in.

“What we know is as soon as we can get in and intervene with any disruptions that they have in learning then that’s going to give them the opportunity to capitalize on skills they already have,” she said.

Before starting therapy, Tristan had a fascination with numbers and has since learned how to use them appropriately. “He would stack cars or he would arrange trains just so he could count them,” Hill said. “But now he is doing math when the teacher assigns it. We saw Tristan blending in with classmates without special need, running laps around the gym in PE class. It’s a life changer because even a year ago we didn’t know where he would be. We wondered would we be taking care of him his entire life, and it’s not something we need to worry about any more.”

When Tristan learned to speak, the tantrums he once had stopped. “He went through some spitting; he went through some screaming,” said Beth Whidmann, a teacher. “So, we just set those boundaries of like, ‘If you’re going to do that, you’re not going to get anything rewarding.'”

These rewards helped to encourage good behavior and a lack of rewards helped to discourage bad behavior. For Tristan his reward is blowing bubbles and he looks forward to music therapy.

One of Tristan’s biggest signs of growth is that he will now sit in a circle with his classmates. “This is really a big deal,” Whidmann said. “A couple of years ago, he was isolated in a corner doing his own thing.”

“It makes me feel great,” Hill said. “it’s something we really thought we would never see.”


It’s almost June!

May 21, 2012

Wow guys! This year is almost half over! June is creeping up on us fast.

So far this year has been great! We’ve opened a location in Leander, Texas and a second location in San Antonio. Not to mention we partnered with the ASSIST Autism Foundation in Tyler, TX and have opened a center there!

We now have a total of 7 Treatment centers and 3 In Home service areas. Check out our facebook page for pictures of our locations!

Earlier this month we created a Pinterest: Check it out for things on Autism, crafts, educational ideas, products and inspirational quotes.

For Mother’s day we had “Muffins with Mom” and a great turn out! We have some very special mothers. Our kiddos showed how much they loved their mothers by creating their own cards.

At the end of this week we’re having “Hawaiian Shorts Day.” Wear your colorful Hawaiian shorts!

At the end of April we were a part of Give Autism a Chance, Burgers for Aspergers 2012, and the 8th Annual Any Baby Can Autism Walk. Each event was amazing and we look forward to next year! You can find more pictures on our facebook page!

Just a reminder, we will be closed May 28, 2012 in observance of Memorial Day.

We will also be closed on June 1, 2012.

Amazing Autism Awareness

April 30, 2012

 This month of Autism Awareness was amazing! There was a great turn out at all of the events across the country.

Awareness was raised in all sorts of ways that you may not even expect. Third graders got involved in 4 Myles 2 Autism ( and another school got involved by doing Bubbles for Autism ( in an attempt to break a world record. We had a great time at all of the events we attended and loved hearing your stories!

So many people were reached this month, but it’s important to remember with the month of April coming to an end that doesn’t mean Autism Awareness ends. There is still so much to learn and do that we can’t wait until next April to raise awareness again.

We hope everyone enjoyed this month as much as we did and look forward to future events with all of the friends that we made.

What you should know about ASD

April 17, 2012

According to the CDC Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) now affect 1 in 88 children in the United States (

What are the different types of Autism?
Autistic Disorder (also called “classic” autism)
Asperger Syndrome
Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also called “atypical autism”)

What causes Autism?
All of the causes of ASDs are unknown. However environment, biologic and genetic factors may cause a child to be more likely to have an ASD.  Most scientists agree that genetics are a risk factor. Those with parents or siblings with ASD are at a higher risk of also have ASD. Certain prescription drugs while taken during pregnancy have also been linked to a higher risk of ASD. Theories regarding vaccines and infections have led researchers to consider risk factors before and after birth.

Who does Autism affect?
Autism affects both genders, although there is a higher prevalence in boys than girls.

When do symptoms appear and what are they?
Individuals with ASD do not all have the same symptoms.
For some, ASDs may begin before 3 years old and improve over time. For others, symptoms may not show up until 24 months or later. In other cases, children seem to develop normally until about 18 to 24 months then stop gaining new skills, or lose skills they once had.

How do doctors diagnose Autism?
Diagnosing ASDs can be difficult since there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorders. Doctors look at the child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis.

What are treatments for Autism?
Currently there is no cure for ASDs. However, early intervention treatment services can greatly improve a child’s development. These services are available for children birth to age three can include therapy to help the child talk, walk, and interact with others. ABA therapy is also a service that will help to improve a child’s development after early intervention.

Events in April!

April 2, 2012

April is going to be a busy month! There’s something to do almost every day!

Yesterday, April 1st, kicked off the start of Autism Awareness Month.

Today is Light It Up Blue and there has been a lot of participation!
People across the world have joined!

April 5th is our annual Egg Hunt in the morning. The treatment centers will close early at 1:00.

April 6th we will also be closed in observance of Good Friday.

April 7th we will not have In-Home services, but come join us for the Second Annual Fun Day in the park!
See their flier at:

April 8th we will once again not have In-Home services, but Networking for Kids Southwest will have a meeting.

April 10th there is a Special Education Clinic on “Understanding Your Child’s Special Education Rights”! Here is the link to their flier for more information:

April 12th is the ASSIST Autism Support Group Meeting.

April 14th join us in San Antonio Any Baby Can Walk for Autism! For more information visit:

April 18th Networking for Kids East will meet.

April 21st is the Autism Conference of Texoma ( as well as Burgers for Aspergers.

April 25th is Networking for Kids West meeting.

This month is also Fiesta Especial in San Antonio:

And there’s an event in Addison:

We hope to see you at one of these events!

A New Way of Learning?

February 1, 2012


A short Article at talks about what a company is doing with tablets. Motorola has given tablets to a handful of families with children with Autism. Autism Speaks has found that there are certain apps for the tablet that helps children with communication skills. Of course the tablet apps aren’t focused on only communication; there are also games that involve coordination and counting.

Another article takes a similar view on apps and tablets such as iPads. One mother states that the iPad is a must have in her family because of the benefit it provides for her daughter. She also says that so much has changed in her daughter’s life thanks to technology.

The following is a link from that lists apps for iPhones and iPads that can be used:

There’s more than just those two options as well! There’s also the iPod Touch, the Samsung Gallaxy, the Motorola Tablet (mentioned in a previous article) and more options!



Upcoming Events: Friday February 3, 2012 is the Networking for kids in Fort Worth meeting.

Early Childhood Consortium of North Texas (ECCNT) meetings are the first Friday of the month (February 3) at 8:45 AM.

Behavioral Innovations ABA Therapy

January 30, 2012

Behavioral Innovations is transforming the lives of families across Texas that are impacted by Autism with innovative, evidence-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs. Our Texas Autism programs are designed and managed by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and include center-based, home-based and after-school therapy for Children. In addition, we also offer school consultation and training to help teachers and professionals better help Children with developmental disabilities as well as services for adults, under the HCS and ICF Medicaid programs.

If your family is impacted by Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or another developmental disorder, time is the most valuable asset you have. Don’t settle for anything less than Behavioral Innovations state of the art Texas Autism therapy programs. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy contains more empirical, relevant and proven data than all other forms of developmental therapy methodologies combined!

Our Texas Autism Therapy Programs:

  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth
  • San Antonio
  • Wichita Falls
  • East Texas
  • Garland
  • Haltom City

Check out our website for more information!